Feb 17 2018
SMCLC supports the proposed City Council Term Limits Initiative that has just been filed.
This good governance initiative is the work of the highly respected Santa Monica Transparency Project and Council member Sue Himmelrich, who, from the start, set term limits on herself. If passed this November, it will limit any council member to no more than 12 years in office going forward and open a path for new candidates who are not tied to special interests or reliant on their money to stay in office.
Incumbents v. Challengers: Not an Even Playing Field
Incumbents enjoy an overwhelming advantage in elections due to built-in name recognition and ties to established special interest groups once they are elected, giving them the advantage of raising lots of money on their behalf to keep them in office.
This is why voters throughout the country and California have embraced term limits for career politicians -- so that worthy challengers with new ideas, respected in their communities, have a realistic chance to be elected and will run for office without having to raise extraordinary amounts of money to be competitive.
Santa Monica Needs Term Limits
The power of incumbency here has been extraordinary: Over the past 25 years, every incumbent, except two, has been re-elected. Currently, we have two council members who have served 20 years or more now up for re-election.
Unfortunately, over time a too cozy, symbiotic relationship often sets in with incumbent councilmembers, staff and the special interests who devote the energy and money to keep them in power. Talented and highly qualified Santa Monicans are at such a disadvantage that they are often discouraged from running.
If You Agree, Here’s How You Can Help
SMCLC supports this Term Limit Initiative and urges you to sign the petition to put it on the ballot in November. For more information, to learn about the launch event on Wednesday, February 21st, and to download a petition for your signature go to: http://www.santamonicatransparency.org/